Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Health Literacy

         Health Literacy and its Importance:

Health literacy helps us to understand and use information and services. Maintaining our health is a part of our daily activities, not just visiting a doctor, clinic or hospital. Health literacy is a help key in preventing and controlling of health problems, as well as a better management to those problems and unexpected situations that may occur.  Educated people can as well face health literacy when:


 They are not familiar with medical terms or how the functions of their bodies

They have to interpret statistics and evaluate risks and benefits that may affect their health and safety

They are diagnosed with severe illness and are scared and confused



They have health conditions that require complicated self-care

They are voting on an issue affecting the community’s health and relying on unfamiliar technical information (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016)

 Importance of Health Literacy:

 Health literacy is essential for successful access to care and use of services, self-care of chronic conditions, and maintenance of health and wellness.

Health literacy is fundamental to healthcare that requires individuals to have a more active role in decisions and management.

The IOM reports that 90 million people, nearly half our adult population, lack health literacy skills needed to understand and act on health information and health system demands
Only 12% of U.S. adults have the health literacy proficiency to perform complex health tasks such as using a table to calculate an employee’s share of health insurance costs ( Parker, RM and Jacobson, K, 2012).


REFERENCES

1.      Parker, RM and Jacobson, K. (2012). The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health. Health Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/PublicHealth/HealthLiteracy/HealthLiteracyFactSheets_Feb6_2012_Parker_JacobsonFinal1.pdf
2.       Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, July 26). Health Literacy. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/learn/understanding.htm

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